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The automaker Ford highlights its Mobility Motoring Program in ads on the new Web site Disaboom.com, which reaches people with disabilities with relevant information on everything from medical news to career advice, dating resources, and travel tips.

Author I The economic Comment | environment can offer both opportunities and threats. For example, a recent economic downturn took a big bite out of Apple's sales growth and stock performance. Premium products such as ¡Phones and iPods are often hardest hit in troubled economic times. Said CEO Steve Jobs, "Our stock is being buffeted by factors much larger than ourselves."

Economic environment

Factors that affect consumer buying power and spending patterns.

more than $200 billion in annual spending power. Many individuals with disabilities are active consumers. For example, a recent study found that more than two-thirds of adults with disabilities had traveled at least once for business or pleasure during the preceding two years. Thirty-one percent had booked at least one flight, more than half had stayed in hotels, and 20 percent had rented a car. Over 75 percent of people with disabilities dine out at least once a week.32

How are companies trying to reach consumers with disabilities? Many marketers now recognize that the worlds of people with disabilities and those without disabilities are one in the same. Says one marketer, "The 'us and them' paradigm is obsolete." Worldwide marketers such as McDonald's, Verizon Wireless, Sears, and Honda have featured people with disabilities in their mainstream advertising. For instance, the retailer Target features disabled models in sales circulars.

Other companies use specially targeted media to reach this attractive segment. A The new Web site Disaboom.com reaches people with disabilities though social networking features akin to Facebook combined with relevant information, everything from medical news to career advice, dating resources, and travel tips. Several large marketers, including Johnson & Johnson, Netflix, Avis, GM, and Ford have already signed on as Disaboom.com marketing partners. Ford uses the site to highlight its Mobility Motoring Program. Among other things, the program provides $1,000 allowances for new car buyers to defray costs of adding adaptive equipment such as wheelchair or scooter lifts, pedal extensions, and steering wheel knobs. Marketing on Disaboom.com has "been a new concept for us and we are pleased with the performance so far," says Ford's mobility motoring manager.33

As the population in the United States grows more diverse, successful marketers will continue to diversify their marketing programs to take advantage of opportunities in fast-growing segments.

Salehoo Secrets and Tips

Salehoo Secrets and Tips

As with any web site, SaleHoo has a number of features that will help you in buying products from around the world. Once you have an account on SaleHoo, which only costs a one-time fee, you can establish up to twenty named searches for products. After that, any time those items become available, you’ll be alerted.

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